History: 1981 c. 20
; 1991 a. 156
Boards of review; members; organization. 70.46(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (1m)
and s. 70.99
, the supervisors and clerk of each town, the mayor, clerk and such other officers, other than assessors, as the common council of each city by ordinance determines, the president, clerk and such other officers, other than the assessor, as the board of trustees of each village by ordinance determines, shall constitute a board of review for the town, city or village. In cities of the 1st class the board of review shall by ordinance in lieu of the foregoing consist of 5 to 9 residents of the city, none of whom may occupy any public office or be publicly employed. The members shall be appointed by the mayor of the city with the approval of the common council and shall hold office as members of the board for staggered 5-year terms. Subject to sub. (1m)
, in all other towns, cities and villages the board of review may by ordinance in lieu of the foregoing consist of any number of town, city or village residents and may include public officers and public employes. The ordinance shall specify the manner of appointment. The town board, common council or village board shall fix, by ordinance, the salaries of the members of the board of review. No board of review member may serve on a county board of review to review any assessment made by a county assessor unless appointed as provided in s. 70.99 (10)
Whenever the duties of assessor are performed by one of the officers named to the board of review by sub. (1)
then the governing body shall by ordinance designate another officer to serve on the board instead of the officer who performs the duties of assessor.
A person who is appointed to the office of town clerk, town treasurer or to the combined office of town clerk and town treasurer under s. 60.30 (1e)
may not serve on a board of review under sub. (1)
If a town board of review under sub. (1)
had as a member a person who held the elective office of town clerk, town treasurer or the combined office of town clerk and town treasurer, and the town appoints a person to hold one or more of these offices under s. 60.30 (1e)
, the town board shall fill the seat on the board of review formerly held by an elective office holder by an elector of the town.
The town, city or village clerk on such board of review and in cities of the first class the commissioner of assessments on such board of review or any person on the commissioner's staff designated by the commissioner shall be the clerk thereof and keep an accurate record of all its proceedings.
The members of such board, except members who are full time employes or officers of the town, village or city, shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by resolution or ordinance of the town board, village board or common council.
Prejudice of a board of review is not shown by the fact that the members are taxpayers. State ex rel. Berg E. Corp. v. Spencer Rev. Bd. 53 W (2d) 233, 191 NW (2d) 892.
Board of review proceedings. 70.47(1)
Time and place of meeting.
The board of review shall meet annually at any time during the 30-day period beginning on the 2nd Monday of May. In towns and villages the board shall meet at the town or village hall or some place designated by the town or village board. If there is no such hall, it shall meet at the clerk's office, or in towns at the place where the last annual town meeting was held. In cities the board shall meet at the council chamber or some place designated by the council and in cities of the 1st class in some place designated by the commissioner of assessments of such cities. A majority shall constitute a quorum except that 2 members may hold any hearing of the evidence required to be held by such board under subs. (8)
, if the requirements of sub. (9)
Notice of the time and place of meeting shall be posted by the clerk in at least 3 public places in the taxation district and on the door of the village hall, council chambers or city hall if the place of meeting has been otherwise designated.
(2m) Open meetings.
All meetings of the board of review shall be publicly held and open to all citizens at all times. No formal action of any kind shall be introduced, deliberated upon or adopted at any closed session or meeting of a board of review.
At its first meeting, the board of review shall receive the assessment roll and sworn statements from the clerk and prior to adjournment shall be in session at least one day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for a one hour recess for lunch, for taxpayers to appear and examine the assessment roll and other assessment data and be heard in relation to the assessment. If the assessment roll is not completed, the board shall adjourn for such time as is necessary to complete the roll, and shall post a written notice on the outer door of the place of meeting stating to what time the meeting is adjourned. With respect to the assessment rolls of taxing districts prepared by a county assessor, the board of review as constituted under s. 70.99 (10)
shall schedule meetings in each taxing district on specific dates beginning with the 2nd Monday of April and shall be in session on the specified dates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for a one hour recess for lunch, for taxpayers to appear and examine the assessment roll and other assessment data and be heard in relation to the assessment. Notice of the time and place of meeting shall be posted in advance by the clerk of the taxing district in at least 3 public places and on the door of the village hall, council chambers or city hall or the town hall on the date set by the board of review.
The municipal governing body may by ordinance or resolution designate hours, other than those set forth in par. (a)
, during which the board shall hold its first meeting, but not fewer than 4 hours on the first meeting day between 8 a.m. and midnight. Such change in the time shall not become effective unless notice thereof is published in the official newspaper if in a city, or posted in not less than 3 public places if in any other municipality, at least 10 days before such first meeting.
The board may adjourn from time to time until its business is completed. If an adjournment be had for more than one day, a written notice shall be posted on the outer door of the place of meeting, stating to what time said meeting is adjourned.
The clerk shall keep a record in the minute book of all proceedings of the board.
(6) Board's duty.
The board shall carefully examine the roll or rolls and correct all apparent errors in description or computation, and shall add all omitted property as provided in sub. (10)
. The board shall not raise or lower the assessment of any property except after hearing as provided in subs. (8)
Objections to the amount or valuation of property shall first be made in writing and filed with the clerk of the board of review prior to adjournment of public hearings by the board. If the board is in session 5 days, including its first meeting and any adjourned meetings, all objections shall be filed within such time unless failure to file within such time is waived by the board upon a showing of good cause for such failure. The board may require such objections to be submitted on forms approved by the department of revenue. Persons who own land and improvements to that land may object to the aggregate valuation of that land and improvements to that land, but no person who owns land and improvements to that land may object only to the valuation of that land or only to the valuation of improvements to that land. No person shall be allowed in any action or proceedings to question the amount or valuation of property unless such written objection has been filed and such person in good faith presented evidence to such board in support of such objections and made full disclosure before said board, under oath of all of that person's property liable to assessment in such district and the value thereof. The requirement that it be in writing may be waived by express action of the board.
No person shall be allowed to appear before the board of review, to testify to the board by telephone or to contest the amount of any assessment of real or personal property if the person has refused a reasonable written request by certified mail of the assessor to view such property.
For the purpose of this section, the managing entity, as defined in s. 707.02 (15)
, or its designees, may be considered the taxpayer as an agent for the time-share owner, as defined in s. 707.02 (31)
, and may file one objection and make one appearance before the board of review concerning all objections relating to a particular real property improvement and the land associated with it. A time-share owner may file one objection and make one appearance before the board of review concerning the assessment of the building unit in which he or she owns a time share.
Upon receipt of an objection, the board shall establish a time for hearing the objection. At least 48 hours' notice of the time of hearing must be given to the objector or the objector's attorney, and to the municipal attorney and assessor. If all parties are present, or the objector is in communication with the board by telephone under sub. (8) (intro.)
and all other parties are present, and waive such notice in the minutes, the hearing may be held forthwith.
Upon receipt of an objection with respect to the assessment rolls of taxation districts prepared by a county assessor the board of review as constituted under s. 70.99 (10)
may direct such objection to be investigated by the county board of assessors if such board has been established under s. 70.99 (10m)
. If such objection has been investigated by the county board of assessors as provided by s. 70.99 (10m)
, the county board of review may adopt the determination of county board of assessors unless the objector requests or the board of review orders a hearing. At least 2 days' notice of the time fixed for such hearing shall be given to the objector or the objector's attorney and to the corporation counsel. If the county board of review adopts the determination of the county board of assessors and no further hearing is held, the clerk of the board of review shall record the adoption in the minutes of the board and shall correct the assessment roll as provided by s. 70.48
The board shall hear upon oath all persons who appear before it in relation to the assessment. The board shall hear upon oath, by telephone, all ill or disabled persons who present to the board a letter from a physician, surgeon or osteopath that confirms their illness or disability. The board at such hearing shall proceed as follows:
The clerk shall swear all persons testifying before it or by telephone in relation to the assessment.
The owner or the owner's representatives and the owner's witnesses shall first be heard.
The board may examine under oath such persons as it believes have knowledge of the value of such property.
It may and upon request of the assessor shall compel the attendance of witnesses, except objectors who may testify by telephone, and the production of all books, inventories, appraisals, documents and other data which may throw light upon the value of property.
All proceedings shall be taken in full by a stenographer or by a recording device, the expense thereof to be paid by the district. The board may order that the notes be transcribed, and in case of an appeal or other court proceedings they shall be transcribed. If the proceedings are taken by a recording device, the clerk shall keep a list of persons speaking in the order in which they speak.
The clerk's notes, written objections and all other material submitted to the board of review, tape recordings of the proceedings and any other transcript of proceedings shall be retained for at least 7 years, shall be available for public inspection and copies of these items shall be supplied promptly at a reasonable time and place to anyone requesting them at the requester's expense.
From the evidence before it the board shall determine whether the assessor's valuation is correct. If too high or too low, it shall raise or lower the same accordingly. A majority of the members of the board present at the meeting to make the determination shall constitute a quorum for purposes of making such determination, and a majority vote of the quorum shall constitute the determination. In the event there is a tie vote, the assessor's valuation shall be sustained.
A board member may not be counted in determining a quorum and may not vote concerning any determination unless, concerning such determination, such member:
Received the transcript of the hearing no less than 5 days prior to the meeting and read such transcript; or
Received a mechanical recording of the evidence no less than 5 days prior to the meeting and listened to such recording; or
Received a copy of a summary and all exceptions thereto no less than 5 days prior to the meeting and read such summary and exceptions. In this subdivision "summary" means a written summary of the evidence prepared by one or more board members attending the hearing of evidence, which summary shall be distributed to all board members and all parties to the contested assessment and "exceptions" means written exceptions to the summary of evidence filed by parties to the contested assessment.
(10) Assessment by board.
If the board has reason to believe, upon examination of the roll and other pertinent information, that other property, the assessment of which is not complained of, is assessed above or below the general average of the assessment of the taxation district, or is omitted, the board shall:
Notify the owner, agent or possessor of such property of its intention to review such assessment or place it on the assessment roll and of the time and place fixed for such hearing in time to be heard before the board in relation thereto, provided the residence of such owner, agent or possessor be known to any member of the board or the assessor.
Fix the day, hour and place at which such matter will be heard.
Subpoena such witnesses, except objectors who may testify by telephone, as it deems necessary to testify concerning the value of such property and, except in the case of an assessment made by a county assessor pursuant to s. 70.99
, the expense incurred shall be a charge against the district.
At the time appointed proceed to review the matter as provided in sub. (8)
In all proceedings before the board the taxation district shall be a party in interest to secure or sustain an equitable assessment of all the property in the taxation district.
(12) Notice of decision.
Prior to final adjournment, the board of review shall provide the objector, or the appropriate party under sub. (10)
, notice by personal delivery or by mail, return receipt required, of the amount of the assessment as finalized by the board and an explanation of appeal rights and procedures under sub. (14)
and ss. 70.85
. Upon delivering or mailing the notice under this subsection, the clerk of the board of review shall prepare an affidavit specifying the date when that notice was delivered or mailed.
Except as provided in s. 70.85
, appeal from the determination of the board of review shall be by an action for certiorari commenced within 90 days after the taxpayer receives the notice under sub. (12)
. The action shall be given preference. If the court on the appeal finds any error in the proceedings of the board which renders the assessment or the proceedings void, it shall remand the assessment to the board for further proceedings in accordance with the court's determination and retain jurisdiction of the matter until the board has determined an assessment in accordance with the court's order. For this purpose, if final adjournment of the board occurs prior to the court's decision on the appeal, the court may order the governing body of the assessing authority to reconvene the board.
(14) Tax payments.
In the event the board of review has not completed its review or heard an objection to an assessment on real or personal property prior to the date the taxes predicated upon such assessment are due, or in the event there is an appeal as provided in sub. (13)
and s. 74.37
from the correction of the board of review to the court, the time for payment of such taxes as levied is the same as provided in ch. 74
and if not paid in the time prescribed, such taxes are delinquent and subject to the same provisions as other delinquent taxes.
(15) Saving clause.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to alter or repeal any of the provisions of s. 70.35
(16) First class city, filing objections, proceedings, appeal. 70.47(16)(a)(a)
In 1st class cities all objections to the amount or valuation of real or personal property shall be first made in writing and filed with the commissioner of assessments on or before the 3rd Monday in May. No person may, in any action or proceeding, question the amount or valuation of real or personal property in the assessment rolls of the city unless objections have been so filed. The board may not waive the requirement that objections be in writing. Persons who own land and improvements to that land may object to the aggregate valuation of that land and improvements to that land, but no person who owns land and improvements to that land may object only to the valuation of that land or only to the valuation of improvements to that land. If the objections have been investigated by a committee of the board of assessors under s. 70.07 (6)
, the board of review may adopt the recommendation of the committee unless the objector requests or the board orders a hearing. At least 2 days' notice of the time fixed for the hearing shall be given to the objector or attorney and to the city attorney of the city. The provisions of the statutes relating to boards of review not inconsistent with this subsection apply to proceedings before the boards of review of 1st class cities, except that the board need not adjourn until the assessment roll is completed by the commissioner of assessments, as required in s. 70.07 (6)
, but may immediately hold hearings on objections filed with the commissioner of assessments, and the changes, corrections and determinations made by the board acting within its powers shall be prima facie correct. Appeal from the determination shall be by an action for certiorari commenced within 90 days after the taxpayer receives the notice under sub. (12)
. The action shall be given preference.
In 1st class cities if an assessment valuation for taxes based on the value of real property is the same for the current year as for the preceding year and ownership of the property is unchanged, and if an objection had been filed to the assessment valuation for the preceding year and the assessed valuation by the assessor was sustained by the board of review or the courts, an objection filed under sub. (7)
to the assessment valuation on the same property for the current year shall be subject to a fee not to exceed $10 payable to the city at the time of filing the objection or within 3 days thereafter, and the fee shall be a condition for the hearing of the objection before the board of review.
(17) Summary of proceedings.
After the board of review has completed its determinations, the clerk shall prepare a summary of the proceedings and determinations, on forms prescribed by the department of revenue, which shall include the following information:
Description or designation of the property subject to the objection;
Amount of the assessment about which taxpayer objected;
Names of any persons who appeared on behalf of taxpayer; and
Board's determination on taxpayer's objection.
Whoever with intent to injure or defraud alters, damages, removes or conceals any of the items specified under subs. (8) (f)
may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 2 years or both.
Whoever intentionally alters, damages, removes or conceals any public notice, posted as required by sub. (2)
, before the expiration of the time for which the notice was posted, may be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 6 months or both.
History: 1973 c. 90
; 1975 c. 151
; 1977 c. 29
, 1647 (8)
; 1977 c. 273
; 1977 c. 300
; 1977 c. 414
; 1979 c. 34
, 2102 (46) (b)
; 1979 c. 95
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 192
; 1985 a. 39
; 1985 a. 120
, 3202 (46)
; 1985 a. 188
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 82
Judicial Council Note, 1981: References in subs. (13) and (16) (a) to "writs" of certiorari have been removed because that remedy is now available in an ordinary action. See s. 781.01, stats., and the note thereto. [Bill 613-A]
The board of review may deny taxpayer a hearing if he fails to state his objections on an approved form; the board does not have to accept the information supplied by taxpayer in a different style. On certiorari under this section review is limited to the action of the board. Bitters v. Newbold, 51 W (2d) 493, 187 NW (2d) 339.
Subsequent to the presentation of evidence by the taxpayer, board of review consideration of testimony by the village assessor at an executive session was contrary to the state open meeting law, s. 66.77, 1973 stats., [now 19.81-19.98] since although it was permissible for the board to convene a closed session for the purpose of deliberating after a quasi-judicial hearing, the proceedings did not constitute mere deliberations but were a continuation of the quasi-judicial hearing without the presence of or notice to the objecting taxpayer. Dolphin v. Board of Review, 70 W (2d) 403, 234 NW (2d) 277.
See note to s. 808.03, citing Steenberg v. Town of Oakfield, 157 W (2d) 674, 461 NW (2d) 148 (Ct. App. 1990).
On certiorari review of board of review decision only whether the board acted (a) within its jurisdiction, (b) according to law, (c) arbitrarily, oppressively or unreasonably or (d) without evidence to make the order or determination in question is considered. Metro. Holding v. Milwaukee Review Bd. 173 W (2d) 626, 495 NW (2d) 314 (1993).
Boards of review cannot rely on exemptions in s. 19.85 (1) to close any meeting in view of explicit requirements in s. 70.47 (2m). 65 Atty. Gen. 162.
Wisconsin's Property Tax Assessment Appeal System. Ardern. Wis. Law. March 1995.
Assessor to attend board of review.
The assessor or the assessor's authorized representative shall attend without order or subpoena all hearings before the board of review and under oath submit to examination and fully disclose to the board such information as the assessor may have touching the assessment and any other matters pertinent to the inquiry being made. All part-time assessors shall receive the same compensation for such attendance as is allowed to the members of the board but no county assessor or member of a county assessor's staff shall receive any compensation other than that person's regular salary for attendance at a board of review. The clerk shall make all corrections to the assessment roll ordered by the board of review, including all changes in the valuation of real property. When any valuation of real property is changed the clerk shall enter the valuation fixed by the board in red ink in the proper class above the figures of the assessor, and the figures of the assessor shall be crossed out with red ink. The clerk shall also enter upon the assessment roll, in the proper place, the names of all persons found liable to taxation on personal property by the board of review, setting opposite such names respectively the aggregate valuation of such property as determined by the assessor, after deducting exemptions and making such corrections as the board has ordered. All changes in valuation of personal property made by the board of review shall be made in the same manner as changes in real estate.
History: 1991 a. 316
Affidavit of assessor. 70.49(1)
Before the meeting of the board of review, the assessor shall attach to the completed assessment roll an affidavit in a form prescribed by the department of revenue.
The value of all real and personal property entered into the assessment roll to which such affidavit is attached by the assessor shall, in all actions and proceedings involving such values, be presumptive evidence that all such properties have been justly and equitably assessed in proper relationship to each other.
No assessor shall be allowed in any court or place by oath or testimony to contradict or impeach any affidavit or certificate made or signed by the assessor as assessor.
In this section "assessor" means an assessor or any person appointed or designated under s. 70.055
History: 1991 a. 316
; 1993 a. 307
Delivery of roll.
Except in counties that have a county assessment system under s. 70.99
and in cities of the 1st class and in 2nd class cities that have a board of assessors under s. 70.075
the assessor shall, on or before the first Monday in May, deliver the completed assessment roll and all the sworn statements and valuations of personal property to the clerk of the town, city or village, who shall file and preserve them in the clerk's office. On or before the first Monday in April, a county assessor under s. 70.99
shall deliver the completed assessment roll and all sworn statements and valuations of personal property to the clerks of the towns, cities and villages in the county, who shall file and preserve them in the clerk's office.
Fraudulent valuations by assessor.
Any assessor, or person appointed or designated under s. 70.055
, who intentionally fixes the value of any property assessed by that person at less or more than the true value thereof prescribed by law for the valuation of the same, or intentionally omits from assessment any property liable to taxation in the assessment district, or otherwise intentionally violates or fails to perform any duty imposed upon that person by law relating to the assessment of property for taxation, shall forfeit to the state not less than $50 nor more than $250.
History: 1991 a. 316
Fraud by member of board of review.
Any member of the board of review of any assessment district who shall intentionally fix the value of any property assessed in such district, or shall intentionally agree with any other member of such board to fix the value of any of such property at less or more than the true value thereof prescribed by law for the valuation of the same, or shall intentionally omit or agree to omit from assessment, any property liable to taxation in such assessment district, or shall otherwise intentionally violate or fail to perform any duty imposed upon the member by law relating to the assessment of property for taxation, shall forfeit to the state not less than $50 nor more than $250.
History: 1991 a. 316
Civil liability of assessor or member of board of review.
If any assessor, or person appointed or designated under s. 70.055
, or any member of the board of review of any assessment district is guilty of any violation or omission of duty as specified in ss. 70.501
, such persons shall be liable in damages to any person who may sustain loss or injury thereby, to the amount of such loss or injury; and any person sustaining such loss or injury shall be entitled to all the remedies given by law in actions for damages for tortious or wrongful acts. This section does not apply to the department of revenue or its employes when appointed or designated under s. 70.055
History: 1977 c. 29
Assessment review and tax roll in first class cities.